In 11/444 I mentioned our design in being made male and female. So what are ways we fail to live out our design? In general terms men fail to speak and move. We fear being destroyed by disrespect and failure. In general terms women women close off their hearts, unwilling to risk pain and vulnerability.
For me I can see where I was weak as a man. There was no movement on my part towards my spouse and in life. I drowned my soul in alcohol, I had an emotional lover at work. I didn't know how to impact Ann's soul so I quit trying.
For Ann she was a controlling woman. She'd try to tell me how to drive, and where to drive and when to turn. She constantly monitored me. She tried to be the American supermom, working, serving in 5 roles at church, leading girl scouts, baking for all the events and putting herself in the clean house derby of women at our church. She gave a lot but can see now that her motive was more about not having to face her own heart instead of blessing others.
In my life I began to wake up as a man following the affair. I began to pursue Ann with courage, yet strongly and tenderly. I began to see myself as a protector of my family. My primary identity began to transform to son of God. In turn I began to experience more respect from Ann. I began to realize she really did believe in me.
For Ann she realized first and foremost she was a daughter of God. She began to see that trusting Ben wasn't the big deal. It was trusting God. She felt as if we were on a stagecoach heading for a cliff. She had the reigns in hand. She began to see the bigger problem wasn't an unwillingness to hand them to Ben, but an unwillingness to hand them to God. Through fear, with courage, the reigns slipped from her hands to God's. She learned to rest. The juggernaut of activity slowed down. In the stillness she experienced being cherished by Ben and feeling like she didn't have to do it all.